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By Mark Bell | April 9, 2013

The 2013 Stanley Film Festival, running May 2-5, 2013, at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has announced The Purge as its opening night film. The festival has also announced its full short film programs and special events. The Stanley Hotel is known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining, among other things. From the official press release:

The Stanley Film Festival (SFF), presented by NBC Universal’s Chiller, announced today its Opening Night film, Centerpiece film, special presentations and shorts programs for the inaugural event that will run May 2 – 5, 2013 in Estes Park, Colo. Celebrating the best in independent horror cinema, SFF will showcase a full slate of features, shorts, panels, student competitions and special events – with Festival headquarters set at The Stanley Hotel. The haunted landmark opened in 1909 and was the inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
The Stanley Film Festival opens Thursday, May 2, with a Gala Presentation of Universal Pictures' The Purge, a speculative thriller directed by James DeMonaco and starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder. SFF will welcome DeMonaco and producer Jason Blum in person for a post-film Q&A, followed by "A Shining Gala” in the Stanley Hotel. The Festival Centerpiece film, Sightseers, directed by Ben Wheatley, will make its Colorado premiere on Friday, May 3.
“We are humbled to present such highly anticipated films for our Opening Night and Centerpiece events,” says Festival Director Jenny Bloom. “For a first year festival, it is a true honor to showcase these modern masters and breakout stars of horror, giving independent genre filmmakers a new platform to share their latest works.”
Adding to the 2013 Stanley Film Festival official selection of feature films, Programming Director Landon Zakheim carefully curated 22 short films from 8 countries that will be highlighted in two shorts programs as well as preceding select features. 
“The 22 shorts films selected represent some of the most adventurous work happening in genre film today,” says Programming Director Landon Zakheim. “These gutsy, bold and uncompromising visions are pushing the boundaries of the medium in fearless and subversive ways. Each filmmaker's approach to dynamic storytelling and their ability to create full environments within a limited time frame will thrill, frighten and inspire audiences.”

The Purge  – USA – (Director/screenwriter: James DeMonaco, Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder) – In the near future, a daring new order has kept the country safer. Called simply The Purge, it is a 24-hour release from all laws. When vicious outsiders break into an innocent family's home on the one night that crime is legal each year, everyone will find out how far they would go to protect themselves.
Sightseers – United Kingdom – (Director: Andrew Zuchero, Screenwriters: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump, Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies) – Ben Wheatley, director of the cult hit Kill List, returns with this hilarious horror comedy about a couple vacationing in rural England who can't seem to shake the series of graphic deaths that follow them wherever they go.


Cabin Fever Presented by Eli Roth – USA – (Director/screenwriter: Eli Roth, Cast: Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Rider Strong) – The inaugural Stanley Film Festival Visionary award recipient Eli Roth will present his directorial debut. This modern horror classic centers on a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods, only to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus.
Macabre – Singapore/Indonesia – (Directors/screenwriters: Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto, Cast: Ario Bayu, Shareefa Daanish, Julie Estelle) – A group of friends traveling together are lured to a house of evil run by an ageless matron and her bloodthirsty offspring. The rarely seen directorial debut of Indonesian horror-hounds The Mo Brothers delivers carnage in spades.
No One Lives – USA – (Director: Ryûhei Kitamura, Screenwriter: David Cohen, Cast: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar) – Gore master Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train) tells the story of a brutal gang of thieves who get more than they bargained when they attempt a typical highway robbery of what appears to be an average vacationing couple.

The Apocalypse – USA – (Director: Andrew Zuchero) – Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon. (Narrative)
Bobby Yeah – United Kingdom – (Director: Robert Morgan) – Bobby Yeah is a petty thug who lightens his miserable existence by brawling and thieving stuff. When he steals the favorite pet of some very dangerous individuals, he finds himself in deep trouble. (Animation)
The Bungled Child – Fiji – (Director: Simon Filliot) – There's nothing easy about mending a bungled child. (Animation)
Bydlo – Canada – (Director: Patrick Bouchard) – An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, Bydlo is a tragic vision inspired by Mussorgsky’s music. (Animation)
The Cub  – USA – (Director: Riley Stearns) – Wolves make the best parents. (Narrative)
Dance Till You Drop – USA – (Directors: Juan Cardarelli & Eric Levy) – The Girl is a newly single dancer that is tasked to watch her best friend's house.   After deciding the place needs a clean, she cranks up the tunes and decides to show off her nifty moves. And that's when things get really weird. (Narrative)
The Event – United Kingdom – (Director: Julia Pott) – Love and a severed foot at the end of the world. (Animation)
Haunted Castle  – France – (Director: Georges Melies) – For our very first festival, we proudly present the very first horror film in recorded history. Master of silent cinema Georges Melies directs for your enjoyment. (Narrative)
Hell No – USA – (Director: Joe Nicolosi) – What would happen in horror movies if smart characters made quality logical decisions? Spoiler alert: everyone lives. (Narrative)
Henley – USA – (Director: Craig Macneill) – Meet nine-year-old Ted Henley, budding motel manager and road kill entrepreneur. (Narrative)
Hundred Waters – “Boreal” – USA – (Director: Lucas Leyva & Jillian Mayer) – Hundreds of years before the first Europeans land in Florida, a young Tequesta boy goes hunting in the Everglades. Meanwhile, his prey longs for deeper fulfillment. (Music Video)
IN – Sweden – (Director: Adam Berg) – A man is asked by a friend to retrieve something lost inside a train tunnel where an unknown terror lies in wait. (Narrative)
In Hanford  – USA – (Director: Chris Mars) – This heartbreaking true story of a town poisoned by Cold War–era nuclear-arms manufacture is told through firsthand accounts and fantasy scenes, which empathize with the victim’s plight. (Animated Documentary)
Lazarov  – France – (Director: Nieto) – Refusing to accept the decline of the U.S.S.R., a handful of Russian scientists work secretly to resurrect Soviet power through the mysterious program Lazarov. (Animation)
Legend – Spain – (Director: Pau Teixidor) – Claudia, a ten-year-old girl, leaves with her family to spend the weekend out of town. At an abandoned gas station, the appearance of a strange woman will reveal her true fate. (Narrative)
Once it Started, It Could Not End Otherwise – USA – (Director: Kelly Sears) – Terrifying and strange happenings descend on a 1970’s high school. (Animation)
The Root of the Problem – USA – (Director: Ryan Spindell) – In the candy-colored world of 1950s suburbia, a reluctant young housewife suspects that the friendly neighborhood dentist is hiding a horrible secret. Is it just the anesthesia at work, or is there something more sinister hiding below the surface? (Narrative)
Thumb Snatchers from the Moon Cocoon  – USA – (Director: Bradley Schaffer) – A Texas Sheriff uses his cowboy logic to recklessly defeat a race of thumb-snatching, cocoon dwelling robo critters. (Animation)
Two Fingers –  “Vengeance Rhythm– USA – (Director: Chriss Ullens) – This is the story of a very, very angry teddy bear. (Animated Music Video)
The Unliving – Sweden – (Director: Hugo Lilja) – Thirty years after a zombie outbreak, people are taming the undead and using them as cheap labour. Katrine catches 'em and Mark lobotomizes'em. They're an awesome team, but work is starting to bleed into their relationship. (Narrative)
When the Zombies Come  – USA – (Director: John Hurst) –  At a remote hardware store, fans of the walking dead have turned their love of zombies into an obsession, warping the way they see the store and its customers. (Documentary)
Yellow  – Germany/United Kingdom – (Director: Ryan Haysom) – A reclusive older man is on the hunt for a vicious serial killer in neon-lit Berlin in this neo-Giallo short by Jon Britt. (Narrative)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: a Silent Film with Live Piano Score
The silent classic of German expressionism, and one of the great horror pictures of its era, comes to life the way it was meant to be heard as a special presentation in the Stanley Hotel Concert Hall with a live piano score by the incomparable Hank Troy. This unmissable experience will be preceded by the very first horror film ever made, George Melies' Haunted Castle from 1896. (Sunday, May 5, 2:15 pm)
Stanley Dean’s Cup Competition
Find the next Alfred Hitchcock, Wes craven or John Carpenter among the disturbed young talent who have entered our local student competition. Students from Colorado’s leading film schools will battle in a live action horror short film competition to determine the best student film and which school will take home the 2013 Stanley Dean’s Cup. (Saturday, May 4, 10 am)
Horror Author Clay McLeod Chapman Reading and Book Signing
Clay McLeod Chapman will read from his new middle-grade novel The Tribe: Homeroom Headhunters (Disney/Hyperion Books). After practically burning down his last school, 7th grade troublemaker Spencer Pendleton is recruited by a wild tribe of runaway misfits hiding inside Greenfield Middle School. Lord of the Flies meets Fight Club for middle schoolers. A free, family friendly event presented in conjunction with the Estes Valley Library. (Saturday, May 4, 1:00 pm)
The Pumpkin Pie Show
Part ghost story, part shamanistic ritual, author Clay McLeod Chapman's The Pumpkin Pie Show has established itself over the last two decades as the bastard love-child of spectral luminaries Poe and Lovecraft. Packed with the emotional intensity of a rock concert, the Pumpkin Pie Show is a pure campfire story experience for adults. (Saturday, May 4, 5:15 pm)
Horror Brunch and Bloody (Mary) Awards Ceremony: an Andrew Novick Production
As Chief Coroner of the Stanley Film Festival, Andrew Novick will create several "horrific" culinary options for brunch-goers to endure. In addition to bottomless bloody Mary’s, guests may have to deliberate "which side of the crime they are on" when they choose what to digest. Ballots will be tallied and the 2013 Audience Winners for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film will be announced. Andrew Novick has been behind such temptations as: The Surgery Dinner, Thanksgiving-on-a-Stick, Andrew Novick's X-Treme Pancake Breakfast and is the "Griller-in-Residence" for tailgate parties at the Museum of Contemporary Art. (Sunday, May 5, 11 am)

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